Whether you are tracking long-term goals or just need a weekly spread to keep you on track, these bullet journal goal-setting pages are a great way to set and achieve your personal goals.
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Why Use a Bullet Journal for Goal Setting?
Goal setting is the first step in creating a personal development plan. You need to know where you are going before you figure out how you’re going to get there.
There are myriad options for how you keep track of your goals. For example, you could:
- Create a Google or Excel spreadsheet
- Create a vision board
- Write them in your journal
- Use a printable goal tracker
- Type them up, print them out, and slide them into some snazzy page protectors
- Write them on index cards and pin them to a bulletin board over your desk
- Write them on a torn sheet of paper, roll it up and tuck it inside a glass bottle, and set it adrift on the tide
I’ve tried several of these, and some of them are quite effective. Not the last one though—that strategy’s about as fruitless as they come. My personal favorite is the Google spreadsheet. I can add as much detail as I want, and it’s accessible from everywhere.
Recently, however, I’ve discovered that tracking my goals in bullet journal spreads is the best way to stay on top of my monthly goals and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Here are a few reasons why bullet journal pages are so effective for setting goals.
- Limited space. When we dream about the future and write down our big goals, it’s easy to go overboard. Creating a bullet journal goals page forces us to focus on only the most important thing—setting smart goals. This hyperfocused list of goals is easier to review daily and take action on than, say, a lengthy document would be.
- Accessibility. Bullet journaling makes it possible for you to have your list of goals on hand at all times. Each morning, you can take a quick scan to remind yourself of the specific goals you’ve set for the month. You can take it with you anywhere and use it as inspiration if you find yourself with a few spare minutes to tackle your action plan.
- Inspiration. Bullet journal goal setting pages can be beautiful and inspiring, making you excited about the different ways you are working toward your long-term goals.
- Reinforcement. Writing your goals significantly increases the chances of you actually achieving them.
If you’re ready to get going with your new goal planner, let’s take a look at a few of my favorite bullet journal goal setting monthly spreads.
1. Minimalist Black-and-White One-Page Spread
This first page is a mod-inspired spread that helps you narrow your focus down to two personal and two professional goals at a time. The minimalist design is perfect for those who want to set goals on a weekly basis.
There’s also room to list why the goal is important and when you plan to achieve it. This will help keep you on the right track and put a time limit on your goals. Add line sketches of succulents or other plants to complete the design.
2. Weekly Coffee-Themed Goal Planner Page
There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee (or three) to help you power through your daily goals. This java-infused spread gives you enough space to track your daily tasks or goals. Track your mood using different colored coffee cups and highlight the week of the month so you can see at a glance which week you’re on. Decorate with coffee cup drawings or coffee-themed washi tape.
3. Seasonal Bucket List for Quarterly Goals
One of our family’s favorite ways to usher in a new season is to make a bucket list—a list of things we want to do in the next three months. Creating a seasonal bucket list in your bullet journal is a good way to ensure you make time for a bit of fun in your busy schedule. Check out our spring bucket list for some ideas.
4. Simple Weekly Goal Planning Page
Keep it simple with this easy-to-create planner for weekly goals. Each day of the week gets a separate section with enough room to list up to three goals. This design is an effective way to track smaller goals that don’t need extra explanation (such as how, why, or when).
5. Wanderlust Travel-Themed Goal Page
If you dream of travel, you probably put a lot of time and effort into planning your trips. A travel-themed bullet journal spread is a powerful tool for helping you visualize those goals and keep you moving in the right direction toward making those dream trips a reality. Use symbols that represent the places you want to go and polaroid pictures as frames for a simple but inspiring ode to your globetrotting heart.
6. Reading Log Spread for Book Lovers
If one of your new year’s resolutions was to read more, you probably discovered early on that a great way to have an active reading life is to record what you read and keep a running list of the next books you want to dive into. While some book-logging bullet journal pages can be overwhelmingly detailed, this simple spread demands little artistic talent.
Some sections you might include on your reading goals page are a tracker to record how many books you’ve read in each genre, your TBR list (books you’ve come across and want to read), your favorite 5-star reads, a target number of books you want to read by the end of the year and a tally of how many you’ve read, and a line drawing of several books that you can color in as you go to provide visual evidence of your progress.
7. Two-Page Annual Goals Spread
I love setting a new list of annual goals on my birthday or around the start of the year (sometimes both!) This is a great time to build personal growth into your plans for the year and outline the action steps you need to take to achieve your long-term goals.
Since this spread covers twelve months, you’ll want to focus on your higher-level goals here, not your detailed plan. For example, monthly goals at this level might include starting a blog, taking a course, or going on a trip.
When you break these yearly goals down into monthly or quarterly objectives, the first thing you’ll do is drill down and make them more detailed, but at this stage, you just want a high-level overview of everything you’d like to accomplish in the next year.
8. Annual Goals List
A fun way to record your new year’s resolutions is to do an X before 20XX list, for example, ’23 before 2023′. This is one of the simplest bullet journal goal page ideas that’s super easy to replicate. You can sort your goals into different categories or just make one big list. Use checkboxes to keep track of your goals as you go.
9. Two-Season Spread
Another way to track your long-term goals is to use a two-page bullet journal goal-setting spread that covers two seasons. Each month gets its own rectangle with space for a monthly focus and a few high-level goals. You can also add a quarterly focus such as getting out of debt, reorganizing your home, or preparing for a move.
Breaking your goals down into quarters is highly effective because a twelve-week period is the perfect time period for many of those goals that are too big to accomplish in one month. Giving yourself three months to achieve something creates a bit of breathing room and allows you to keep moving forward toward your goals without feeling overly stressed.
10. Simple One-Page Numbered Goals Spread
Some people prefer to work on just one or two goals at a time, rather than trying to keep track of several goals concurrently. Numbering your goals in order of priority is a good idea if you need a reminder of what you should be focusing on. This simple spread gives room for eight numbered goals, so you can avoid overwhelm and focus on crushing your goals.
You could also use a spread like this to keep track of smaller milestones that make up a large goal. That’s another wonderful thing about the bullet journal method—it’s so versatile and can be adapted to meet your needs no matter how many new goals you set.
11. Level 10 Life Spread
If you like keeping your goals separated into different areas of your life and you have a lot of areas to track at once, a Level 10 goal planner might be the answer. You pick ten areas of your life, such as spirituality, finances, family and friends, and personal development, and set goals in each of them.
How you monitor those goals is up to you, but with this many goals on the table, I find it best to include notes on how and when I’m going to work on each thing. Otherwise, I’m apt to take on much more than I can realistically handle.
12. Visual Monthly Goal Spread
If you prefer fewer words and more pictures in your bullet journal spreads, a monthly goal tracker like this might give you new inspiration to stick to your goals. Use a ruler to divide the page into a variety of boxes or draw the lines freehand for a more natural look.
To add watercolor touches to your pages, we recommend these watercolor pens, which give you maximum control over how far your colors spread.
13. Yearly Goal Pages with Categories
Here’s another spin on an annual goal planning spread. This one has separate areas for relationships, health, skills & education, and work & finance/travel. Within each of these, there are subcategories to further break down the goals.
Again, this is one you want to do at the beginning of the year with your high-level goals and follow it up with individual pages for tracking goals either by month or week or by category. Category pages could include a reading log, a travel wishlist, and a healthy habit tracker.
14. Annual Goal Planner with Progress Chart
Finally, we have another simple spread for planning your long term goals. Three boxes offer space for fifteen high-level goals, while a chart on the facing page gives you room to track your progress.
There are so many wonderful options for using a bullet journal to track your aspirations, you could easily create an entire goal journal. Play around and find the spreads that work best for you, that is, the ones that create a sense of accountability and make you want to make progress on your goals every day.
When you find the one that works for you, your checkmarks will begin to pile up and your sense of purpose will soar as you move purposefully into the life you are creating for yourself.
Sophie Agbonkhese is a writer, veteran homeschooling mother of four, and a recovering overachiever (who occasionally relapses). She is the founder of My Cup Runs Over, a site dedicated to helping busy women simplify and enrich their lives, homes, and homeschools. When she’s not writing or debugging websites, Sophie spends her time reading with her kids, gardening, listening to audiobooks, and striving fruitlessly to have a clean house for at least five minutes. She lives in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, Ben, and their children.